Algae are plant-like organisms found all over the planet, can live in sea water, fresh water, and brackish water (a combination of fresh and sea water). The algae and cyanobacteria reduce levels of oxygen in water when they decompose. If people and animals are exposed to the toxins produced by HABs (Harmful Algae Blooms) through water, food, or air they may experience symptoms that can range from mild to severe. These symptoms may affect the skin, stomach and intestines, lungs, and nervous system.